Amidst the rising mismatch between the demand and supply of Remdesivir, the Maharashtra government, in a significant move on Wednesday, decided to procure it for government hospitals through the state-run Haffkine Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation by inviting tenders from seven producers. Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed that the government has also decided that a stockist will be appointed in each district through which the injection will be supplied. The district collectors will ensure the smooth supply of these injections to private hospitals based on their needs.
“These decisions have been taken to avoid black marketing. The district collector will have control over the distribution of Remdesivir. There will be no shortage,” he noted. According to the ministers, the supply of Remdesivir will be streamlined and they will be available to the private hospitals. “There won’t be a shortage if the injection is used properly as instructed by the task force on COVID-19,” he added.
Tope’s announcement came a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in his web address on Tuesday, had said that with the rise in the number of COVID-19 patients, 50,000 Remdesivir injections are needed per day. If the number continues to rise at the present rate,1 lakh vials will be required daily.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, the government has made it mandatory for private hospitals to fill up a form and give details of the patients along with the prescription for the purchase of Remdesivir. Retail suppliers have been asked not to supply the injection without such documents.
On the shortage of oxygen, Tope said that the CM has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to organise its supply through air considering the constraints in its transportation by road. “No state is currently willing to help in the present conditions. Therefore, focus will be laid to curb the leakages and achieve optimum use of the available oxygen for COVID-19 patients,” he informed.
Tope said the government has already allowed the setting up of oxygen and liquid oxygen plants in the premises of the district general hospitals and also given go ahead for the application of new technologies for oxygen production directly from the air.